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Entrepreneurs as Consumers – the Problematic New Revision of Polish Business Law

Poland

From 2021 entrepreneurs running sole proprietorships have been granted certain benefits, which had so far been enjoyed only by consumers. All this is due to the change in the Polish Civil Code and the consumer rights legislation referred to as the so-called "friendly law package" (Polish Journal of Laws 2019, item 1495). Based on the perspective of entrepreneurs, this paper outlines the challenges brought about by the amendment.

Free Trade Agreement Signed Between Turkey and the United Kingdom

Turkey

Turkey and the United Kingdom (the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ) (the “UK”) signed the Free Trade Agreement (the “FTA”) on December 29th, 2020 just before the UK exits European Union (the “EU”). The FTA, which came into force as of January 1st, 2021, ensures special trading terms for UK businesses, which can continue to export and import under preferential tariffs, compared with no agreement.

The President of the Polish Competition Authority Imposes Financial Penalties on Managers for the First Time

Poland

On December 7th, 2020, the President of the Polish Competition Authority informed the public about the first decision of its kind regarding the Competition Authority imposing a fine on managers. The fine, an amount of PLN 200,000.00, was imposed on the President of the Management Board of Veolia Energia Warszawa S.A., Jacky Lacombe. Lacombe has been found guilty of violating the competition law.

Avellum Successful for British American Tobacco in Dispute with Ukraine’s Antimonopoly Committee

Ukraine

Avellum has successfully defended the interests of PJSC A/T B.A.T.-Prilucky Tobacco Company — the Ukrainian subsidiary of British American Tobacco — in a dispute against the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine. The case was brought before the Northern Commercial Court of Appeal in Kyiv.

Avellum Helps Furshet with Ukrainian Merger Control Aspects of Furshet’s Acquisition by Fozzy Group

Ukraine

Avellum has helped Ukrainian supermarket chain Furshet obtain merger control clearance from the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine for the acquisition by the Fozzy Group of control over Furshet’s retail assets.

Ukraine Approves List of Priority Investment Projects for 2021 – 2023

Ukraine

At the beginning of 2021, the Government of Ukraine published its decision No. 1581-p, dated 16 December 2020, on approval of the list of 102 investment projects prioritised by the State for 2021 – 2023 in such fields as culture and tourism, industry and manufacturing, energy, healthcare, transport, and sports. 76 out of 102 projects may be financed by investors, 47 of which – using a public-private partnership, including the concession framework.

Croatia: One Court Decision and its Impact on M&A Deals in Croatia

Croatia

It has become evident by now that the 2020 global pandemic has reshaped many aspects of the legal industry, with one of the eminent examples being the way M&A transactions are carried out – almost everything has become less certain, more urgent, and largely virtual. As though the circumstances have not been challenging enough, recent developments in local jurisprudence concerning the form of legal documents have started to negatively impact M&A deals in Croatia.

Coca Cola’s Compliance

Croatia

Earlier this month, the Croatian Competition Agency confirmed that Coca Cola HBC Hrvatska d.o.o. had complied with the commitments the company had offered, and which had been accepted by the CCA, in the course of an investigation of vertical restraints imposed by Coca Cola on its distributors (most notably exclusive purchasing and tying arrangements). Early on, the CCA expressed concern that Coca Cola’s practices would constitute infringements under Articles 8 and 13 of the Croatian Competition Act (essentially corresponding to Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).

Go2Law, BDV, Wolf Theiss, and Babic & Partners Advise on Rohatyn Group's Acquisition of Optimapharm

Croatia

Go2Law and BDV advised Optimapharm founders Igor and Gordana Cicak and Wolf Theiss advised investor Mezzanine Management on the sale of Optimapharm to the Rohatyn Group. Babic & Partners, Taylor Wessing, and Nauta Dutilh advised the Rohatyn Group on the deal.

Market Snapshot: How Investors in Russia Can Restore Corporate Control

Russia

“Loss of corporate control” encompasses various scenarios involving a person who controls a corporation ceasing to control its management bodies’ actions and decisions.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Practicing Law in Crimea

Legal Markets

Since the Russian Federation’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the peninsula in the Black Sea has been a minefield of conflicting international claims and interests, putting lawyers trying to work there, boxed in by the threat of sanctions from the West and counterveiling pressure from Moscow, in an untenable position.

Artem Zhavoronkov Joins Borenius St. Petersburg

Russia

Artem Zhavoronkov has joined Borenius as a Specialist Partner in the firm's St. Petersburg office.

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates, Karanovic & Partners, and Jadek & Pensa Advise on Pfizer Spin-Off and Merger with Mylan

Croatia

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates has advised Pfizer on a global business combination with Mylan N.V. The transaction involved a spin-off of Pfizer’s Upjohn business and a subsequent merger of that business with Mylan N.V. to form a new global generics company, called "Viatris." Bird & Bird was global lead counsel to Pfizer, with Karanovic & Partners providing local support for Serbia and Jadek & Pensa providing local support in Slovenia. 

What Makes a Good Conference Great?

Legal Markets

Love them or hate them, conferences are a fundamental part of the successful commercial lawyer’s calendar. But time is precious. Those calendars are full. It’s vital for conference organizers to get them right, and critical for lawyers to choose wisely in determining which events to attend and which to skip.

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates Announces Launch of Pro Bono Covid-19 + Zagreb Earthquake Offering

Croatia

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates has announced the launch of "Covid-19 + Zagreb Earthquake" pro bono project to help those affected by Covid-19 and/or the earthquake that rocked the Croatian capital on March 22, 2020.

Cobalt and Sorainen Advise on Karma Ventures' Follow-on Investment in CGTrader

Deals and Cases

Cobalt has advised venture capital fund Karma Ventures on its follow-on investment in Vilnius-based CGTrader, which was advised by Sorainen. Evli Growth Partners, Karma Ventures, and LVV Group participated in the round, in which CGTrader raised USD 9.5 million.

Cobalt Advises Earlybird Digital East Fund on Investment in Binalyze

Estonia

Cobalt’s Estonian office has advised technology-oriented venture capital fund Earlybird Digital East Fund on its provision of EUR 1.5 million in seed funding into Binalyze, a provider of advanced digital forensics and incident response solutions.

Sorainen, Walless, and Cobalt Advise on CGTrader's USD 9.5 Million Series B Funding Round

Lithuania

Sorainen has helped Lithuanian 3D model trading platform CGTrader attract USD 9.5 million in a Series B funding round from Mikael Hed, Evli Growth Partners, LVV Group, and Karma Ventures. Walless advised Mikael Hed and Evli Growth Partners and Cobalt advised Karma Ventures on the deal.

The Trusts and Foundations Are Coming, Sooner or Later

Croatia

Under the Croatian law, a foundation is a non-profit legal entity without any members, which includes assets permanently intended to serve a generally useful or charitable purpose on its own or through income it generates.

Insurance Market and M&A – Digitalization and Cyber Security Are on the Priority List, the Deadline Is Now!

Croatia

How the Covid-19 Pandemic and Technological Innovations affect the insurance and M&A Market. As we are all aware, the last year was challenging for almost all industries, including the insurance companies, which were inevitably affected by both COVID-19 pandemic and technological innovations, and now must face the forthcoming risks and challenges.

Building World-Class Ethics and Compliance Programs

Croatia

The expression “never a dull moment” could have been tailor-made to describe the ethics and compliance function and how it has evolved over the past decade or so. The well-publicized scandals that started to take place on the market (concerning, e.g., anti-money laundering or privacy incompliances) led the policy makers to pass sweeping legislation that called for increased regulation, greater transparency, and more rigorous scrutiny of corporations.

Former CMS Partner Mark Segall Joins Dentons in Warsaw

Poland

Former CMS Partner and Head of Finance Mark Segall has joined Dentons's Banking and Finance team in Warsaw.

Dentons Advises Kommunalkredit on EUR 23 Million Loan to Green Genius in Lithuania

Deals and Cases

Dentons has advised Kommunalkredit Austria AG on its provision of a EUR 23 senior term loan to Green Genius in Lithuania. Binder Groesswang and Glimstedt reportedly advised Kommunalkredit in Austria and Lithuania, respectively.

Guest Editorial: The Times They Are A-Changin’

Legal Markets

The legal market in Europe is ever-changing, but now, as we approach the turn of the year, there is no doubt we are at a pivotal moment. One could say that the tide has risen and the world of legal services as we know it is gone. While it would be easy to blame everything on the pandemic, the COVID-19 crisis has merely accelerated certain processes that have been swelling up and ready to burst for quite some time. The trends we have been observing have just gained momentum. It is essential that law firms accept the challenges and prudently navigate the dangers.

Legal Regulation of Cryptocurrencies in Belarus

Belarus

In 2018, Decree of the President of Belarus No. 8 “On Development of Digital Economy” entered into force, which, inter alia, legally recognized cryptocurrencies in Belarus. In this article we briefly summarize the main aspects of the Belarusian regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, along with significant risks and perspectives.

Maria Kobanenko Makes Partner at Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

Russia

Russian lawyer Maria Kobanenko has been promoted to Partner at Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners.

EPAM Successful for ZMK 1520 in Dispute with New Forwarding Company

Russia

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners has successfully represented ZMK 1520 in a dispute with New Forwarding Company over the replacement supply of railway wagons heard by  the Supreme Court of Russia.

Turkish Data Protection Board’s Expectations on Compliance: Recent Decisions

Turkey

The Turkish Data Protection Board (“Board”) has recently published summaries of several important decisions on certain matters, which may constitute precedents for future cases. All of the decisions below are published on the Data Protection Authority’s website on February 12, 2021.

The Long-Running Battle: Limitations of Liability in M&A Transactions

Turkey

Allocation of liabilities between the parties in merger and acquisition (“M&A”) transactions is of utmost significance, in order to ensure that the buyer will be sufficiently protected, and the seller’s liabilities limited as much as possible. Under Turkish laws, the sellers` liabilities are subject to the provisions of the Turkish Code of Obligations No. 6908 (“TCO”). Having said this, Turkish laws are not designed to save commercial parties from a bad bargain, thus the parties often resort to adding certain clauses to their share purchase agreements (“SPA”) such as representations and warranties, indemnities, amount-based restrictions such as de minimis and baskets clauses, setting forth specific procedures and time limits for claims, and so on. Accordingly, this article aims to provide a general understanding as to the sellers’ liabilities in M&A transactions, the general liability provisions most commonly used in SPAs, and how they are dealt with under the Turkish laws.

The Commitment Mechanism Introduced in Turkish Competition Law Enforcement

Turkey

The Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) has recently published its Draft Communiqué on Commitments Offered During Preliminary Investigations and Investigations on Restrictive Agreements, Concerted Practices, Decisions and Abuse of Dominance (“Draft Communiqué”) which has introduced a new commitment mechanism to Turkish competition law enforcement. This mechanism makes it possible for the undertakings and trade associations to offer commitments during an ongoing preliminary investigation or a full-fledged investigation process, in order to eliminate potential competition concerns under Articles 4 and 6 of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. 4054”) that prohibit restrictive agreements and abuse of dominance.

Firon Bar-Nir Supports Private School Association in Demand that In-Person Schooling be Resumed

Romania

Firon Bar-Nir has helped the Private School Association and a group of parents with a class action law suit against Romania’s Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Research, and several other governmental bodies aimed at having in-person teaching in Romanian schools resumed.

PeliPartners and Firon Bar-Nir Advise on AFI Europe Acquisition of Majority Stake in Casa Radio

Romania

PeliPartners has advised AFI Europe on its agreement to acquire 75% in the development of the old Casa Radio building in downtown Bucharest from a company controlled by Plaza Centers NV. Firon Bar-Nir advised Plaza Centers on the deal.

Turkey Tightens Internet & Social Media with New Rules

Turkey

A number of fundamental changes were made in the Law No. 5651 on "Regulating Broadcasts Made on the Internet and Combating Crimes Committed Through These Broadcasts (Legislation)", came into force on 22/05/2007, with the Law No. 7352 on "Regulating Publications on the Internet and Combating Crimes Committed Through These Publications" (Amendment), which was published in the Official Gazette on July 31, 2020, which is called the Social Media Law in the press.

Updates On International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Rules

Turkey

International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (‘’the ICC’’) set forwards its approach for the Alternative Dispute Resolution with new updated arbitration rules. The 2021 Rules were launched on 1st of December 2020, and will become effective and apply to cases that is filled from 1st of January 2021. Cases submitted to the ICC and registered before 1st of January 2021 will be ruled by 2017 ICC Rules, unless the parties stated otherwise. The new alterations intended to make a further efficiency, flexibility and transparency into the arbitral practices whilst anticipating the demands of both the arbitration community and arbitral tribunals.

Payment and Electronic Money Organisations Association

Turkey

On 28 June 2020 issue of official gazette Turkey Payment and Electronic Money Association Statute is published and with that Turkey Payment and Electronic Money Association is formed. Pursuant to Article 7 of this statute, “All payment and electronic money institutions are obliged to become a member of the association within one month after obtaining an operating license. Organizations that do not fulfill this obligation by the association shall be notified to the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey."

Czech Republic to Compensate for Harm Suffered as a Result of Covid-19 Vaccination

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, persons who undergo Covid-19 vaccination have been given the opportunity to claim financial compensation from the state if the vaccination (or, more precisely, the medicinal product containing a vaccine) causes harm. The Czech Parliament adopted Act No. 569/2020 Sb., on the Distribution of Medicinal Products Containing a Vaccine for Covid-19 Vaccination and on Compensation for Harm Caused to Those Vaccinated by These Medicinal Products (“Act No. 569/2020 Sb.”), which allows such compensation. According to the explanatory memorandum, this measure aims to “facilitate compensation of those who get vaccinated if they are harmed by the vaccination, thereby also indirectly promoting interest in Covid-19 vaccination.”

Havel & Partners Advises D&FG Sumava I on Sale of Sumavske Strane Residential Project

Czech Republic

Havel & Partners has advised D&FG Sumava I s.r.o. on the development and subsequent CZK 220 million sale of three buildings of the Sumavske Strane Project to over 70 individual buyers.

CMS and Havel & Partners Advise on AnaCap’s Sale of Equa Bank to Raiffeisen

Czech Republic

CMS has advised AnaCap Financial Partners on its sale of the Equa Bank to Raiffeisen Bank International, acting through its Czech subsidiary. Havel & Partners and Linklaters advised the buyer on the deal.

Distressed Assets in Ukraine

Ukraine

The consequences of the pandemic are also leaving their mark on Ukraine. Ukraine’s GDP declined by 4.6% in 2020, compared to expected growth of 3.7% before the pandemic. However, unemployment has (officially) only risen from 9.0% to 9.9%, which may be related to the fact that a large proportion of the workers affected by redundancies were in the informal sector, i.e. not officially employed.

Integrites Secures Lowest Dumping Margin for Foshan Vinmay Stainless Steel

Russia

Integrites has successfully represented the interests of China-based Foshan Vinmay Stainless Steel Co. Ltd in an anti-dumping investigation related to the import of welded stainless pipes, manufactured in China, into the Eurasian Economic Union. The proceedings were initiated by Russian stainless pipes producers.

Asters and Integrites Advise on IFC’s EUR 30 Million Loan to Ukrgasbank

Ukraine

Asters has advised the International Finance Corporation on its provision of a EUR 30 million loan to Ukrgasbank for financing of sustainable energy and energy-efficient projects, including those developed by small and medium enterprises. Integrites advised the bank on the deal.

Henceforth Taxpayers Are Required to “Indict Themselves”

Hungary

First reports under DAC6 were due recently from those who are parties to a cross-border transactions. Concurrently, at the last possible moment, the Hungarian Ministry of Finance published a Guide on certain issues related to the fulfilment of the reporting obligation. It is advisable, in particular, for accountants, consultants, lawyers and banks to carefully study this 38-page document, as any of them could easily fall within the scope of the reporting obligation.

A Breakthrough in the VAT Treatment of “Public Purpose” Investments

Hungary

The European Court of Justice has just put an end to an uncertainty that has weighed heavily on the pockets of property developers for years. Not only did it confirm that the VAT on what are known as “public purpose” investments can be deducted, but also that the obligatory transfer of ownership of such investments does not give rise to a VAT liability even if the investment is essential for the developer’s own economic activity.

VAT Ninjas Enjoy an Advantage – Reclaiming VAT on Bad Debts Isn’t Easy

Hungary

Reclaiming VAT on bad debts under the new 2020 rules may well conjure up images of a TV show obstacle course.  Initial experiences suggest that anyone trying to reclaim VAT will be up against the wall. But the undertaking isn’t unfeasible.

Law on Determining the Origin of Property and the Special Tax

Serbia

Law on Determining the Origin of Property and the Special Tax, the law which attracts a lot of public attention for two reasons, begins to apply on 12 March. General public attention is attracted given that this law was announced from time to time by various political parties which were in power during the last 20 years, while attention of competent public is attracted given the solutions provided for in the law.

The City of Belgrade Amends the Decree on Determining the Construction Land Development Contribution

Serbia

The Assembly of the Serbian capital – City of Belgrade amended the latest version of the Decree on Determining the Construction Land Development Contribution (Infrastructure Contribution).

JPM Helps Xella with GDPR Implementation

Serbia

Serbia's JPM Jankovic, Popovic, Mitic has helped Xella implement GDPR best practices.

Market Snapshot: Recent Developments and Major Amendment of the Business Corporations Act

Czech Republic

The M&A market in 2020 has been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the latest quarterly M&A overview prepared by CzechInvest, the leading agency supporting business and investments in the Czech Republic, “in a very short period of time and on a large scale, many companies have had to close down or limit their operations, dismiss stuff members, and disrupt supply chains.” Although there has been some recovery since May, the situation remains unpredictable. The second and next presumed waves will likely bring even more uncertainty.

Inside Out: Wordline’s Acquisition of GoPay

Interviews

On September 24, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Baker McKenzie’s Prague office had advised Worldline SA/NV on its acquisition of a 53% of stake in GoPay. JSK and Urban & Hejduk advised the sellers on the deal, Pavel Schwarz Jr. and BUDEX Direct.

JSK Advises on Sale of TKZ Polna to Rose Investments Group

Czech Republic

JSK has advised shareholders Petr Janu, Jan Zvonik, Ladislav Partl, and Jiri Trcka on the sale of TKZ Polna, spol. s r.o. to the Rose Investments Group.

Ketler & Partners Advises ARX Equity Partners on Acquisition of Instrumentation Technologies

Deals and Cases

Ketler & Partners, member of Karanovic, has advised ARX Equity Partners on its acquisition of Instrumentation Technologies and Red Pitaya, a handheld electronics lab, from its founders. The sellers were advised by Acuity Advisors.

The Competition Commission Expands Price Investigation in Consumer Electronics to Retailers

Serbia

Back in September 2020, the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Commission”), following an internal review of the market dynamics and dawn raids at key players, initiated a formal investigation against three major undertakings active in both wholesale and retail of consumer electronics – Roaming Electronics d.o.o., Tehnomanija d.o.o. and Comtrade Distribution d.o.o. The Commission had, per publicly available pricing information and upon review of comparative practice, cited concerns that the undertakings involved were acting in concert, as well by potentially enforcing a resale price maintenance policy.

COVID-19 Impact on M&A Transactions in Serbia – Crisis as a Stimulus for Change

Serbia

COVID-19 has changed so many things in our lives. Nothing has remained untouched, from social relations to business. Naturally, it has also heavily affected M&A activity in Serbia, just as across the entire SEE region.

2021 Customs Regulations on the Import and Export Between the UK and Hungary

Hungary

Products imported from and exported to the UK became subject to customs duties as the UK withdrew from the European Union on 1 February 2020 and also left the EU customs union on 1 January 2021.

European Court of Human Rights Approves of Hungarian Tax Defaulter List

Hungary

Hungarian National Tax and Customs Authority regularly publishes the list of major tax defaulters for failing to fulfil their tax obligations in Hungary. The list also contains private data of the defaulters, including, inter alia, information on tax arrears and debts and their home address. In a recent case (L.B. v. Hungary – 36345/16), European Court of Human Rights concluded no violation and confirmed the approach of Hungarian tax authority as justified.

New Anti-Money Laundering Rules for Bookkeepers, Tax Advisors and Other Service Providers

Hungary

At the beginning of February 2021, a new decree of the Hungarian Minister of Finance (“Decree”) was published on the detailed rules of the execution of the Money Laundering Act for certain non-financial service providers and the development and the minimum requirements of the operation of the filtering system. The decree enters into force on 19 March 2021.

Montenegro: Commentary on Montenegro’s New Media Law

Montenegro

The new Media Law in Montenegro which entered into force on July 6, 2020, will update the country’s legislation in the area.  By adopting certain media standards, it is intended to provide the country with the modern legal solutions already present in the countries of the EU.

The Corner Office: Your Favorite Client Matter

Legal Markets

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: ”What is your single most favorite client matter in your career?”

Overview of the New MNE Company Law in Montenegro

Montenegro

The new law about legal entities/Law of The Companies was adopted at the Official Gazette No. 65/20 on the 03.07.2020 and is in force since the 16.07.2020/ when it was introduced in Montenegro.

The Buzz in Bosnia & Herzegovina: Interview with Branko Maric of Maric & Co

Bosnia and Herzegovina

“The country we live in is, in many ways, just a mirage – there are indications of there being a functioning state, but in reality it is very difficult to see it,” says Maric & Co. Managing Partner Branko Maric, noting that, “for over two years now, since the last general election, we have had a technical government.”

Hot Practice: Bojana Bosnjak-London on Maric & Co’s Corporate/M&A Practice in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Although Bosnia & Herzegovina is relatively small, and despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Bojana Bosnjak-London, Partner in the Corporate/M&A practice of Maric & Co in Sarajevo, reports that her team has been busy, noting that they were “lucky to land quite a few good deals.”

Maric & Co Successful for Swietelsky Baugesellschaft in Constitutional Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Maric & Co has successfully represented the interests of Swietelsky Baugesellschaft m.b.H in the Constitutional Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina in appellate proceedings regarding a tax dispute against the country's Office for Indirect Taxation.

»Gun-jumping« in Slovenia: Following the Trends or Staying Behind?

Slovenia

Information on record-high gun-jumping fines, imposed by national competition protection authorities, flooded the law-oriented news over the past years. It seems that countries like Poland (e.g. case Gazprom), France (e.g. case SFR-Altice), the UK (e.g. case PayPal), Mexico (e.g. case BAS Projects Corporation and other companies), and even Zimbabwe (e.g. case Innscor Africa) are all following the pattern of enhanced supervision of merger notification obligation and pre-closing activities of the parties, involved in M&A, and increasing amounts of fines.

General Meetings in the Era of the SARS-CoV-2 Epidemic

Slovenia

The need for social distancing has come to the fore in 2020. Due to the global pandemic of the coronavirus disease, we had to suddenly find different solutions in our everyday life to make as little physical contact with each other as possible. Most areas of our daily lives were affected by some adjustments and the operation of corporate bodies of the company has been no exception to the changing reality.

Taxation of Undeclared Income

Slovenia

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia has decided to repeal provisions of the third and fourth paragraph of Article 68.a the Slovenian Tax Procedure Act. These provisions implemented taxation of undeclared income at 70% tax rate, which exceeds regular maximum 50% personal income tax rate and enables the taxation of undeclared income originating from the periods before January 1, 2009.

Corporate Changes That Make Romania More Attractive for Holding Companies

Romania

Back in July 2020, the Romanian Companies Law was amended to allow entrepreneurs to hold the position of sole shareholder in more than one Romanian limited liability company.

Marketing Law Firm Marketing: Most Valuable Software Tool

Legal Markets

New technologies are all the rage, as law firms adapt to the telecommuting and digitalization realities that accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic. Accordingly, we decided to ask our Law Firm Marketing experts from across the region a simple question: “What is the single most important/valuable piece of software you use?” As always, we asked respondents to focus on the question at hand, rather than – as we put it – using the question simply as an excuse to “tell us that their firms are awesome.” Not everyone was able to resist.

New Regulation for the Authorization of Credit Institutions – Amendments Approval and Notification

Romania

In follow-up to our summary regarding the preliminary evaluation for the banks’ authorisation, as detailed in Regulation no. 12/2020 on the authorization of credit institutions and amendments pertaining to the same (“Regulation 12/2020”), and our summary regarding the information and documentation to be submitted by a bank in order to obtain authorisation from the National Bank of Romania (the “NBR”), we will highlight below the main amendments regarding banks that need to be approved by and registered by the NBR once the bank is authorised.

Summary of Rules Governing Foreign Acquisitions in Strategic Companies

Hungary

During the state of emergency in the spring Gov. Decree no. 227/2020 (“Gov. Decree”) was introduced to require the notification to the Minister of Innovation and Technology (“Minister”) and the acknowledgment by the Minister as a condition to certain foreign investments in Hungarian-based companies. Following the end of the state of emergency subchapter 85 of Act LVIII of 2020 (“Vmtv.”) prescribes the rules applicable to foreign investments which are mostly similar to the rules established by the Gov. Decree.  However, in some matters the Vmtv. prescribes different rules. Now, certain provisions of the Vmtv. have been amended and supplemented by Act CIV of 2020 and the amendments have entered into force on 30 October, 2020.

The New Rules Applicable to the Measurement of Body Temperature at the Workplace

Hungary

In order to prevent and restrain the spreading of the new Coronavirus pandemic (“COVID-19”), after the virus appeared in Europe, plenty of employers and other institutions has started to apply instruments suitable for the measurement of the body temperature.

The Buzz in Hungary: Interview with Peter Berethalmi of Nagy es Trocsanyi

Hungary

“The most important thing right now is that the state of emergency was terminated,“ says Peter Berethalmi, Partner at Nagy es Trocsanyi in Budapest.

Turkey Introduces New Transfer Pricing Documentation Rules In Line with BEPS Action Plans

Turkey

In 2015 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development created 15 base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) action plans to equip governments to address tax avoidance by means of domestic and international rules and instruments. The purpose of the action plans is to ensure that profits are taxed where economic activities generating the profits are performed and where value is created.

M&A Deals During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Turkey

COVID-19 has swiftly become a global outbreak, affecting not only people’s lives but also the global economic conjuncture. Like most countries, the Republic of Turkey, has adopted several measures to eliminate or lessen impacts of COVID-19 on the economy. With this article, we will provide an overview of the Turkish legal market and key legislation enacted during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nazali Tax & Legal Opens Office in Ukraine

Ukraine

Nazali Tax & Legal has opened a new office in Kyiv.

Amendments to Romanian Accounting Legislation

Romania

Emergency Government Ordinance (EGO) no. 13 dated 24 February 2021, which amends Law 227/2015 regarding the Fiscal Code and Accounting Law no. 82/1991, was published in the Romanian Official Gazette, issue no. 0197 dated 26 February 2021.

Romania: New Procedure for VAT Registration

Romania

After simplifying the procedure for VAT registration in 2020 (i.e. risk analysis by the taxpayer after VAT registration instead of on the submission date of application for VAT registration), the Romanian tax authorities approved another simplification of the VAT registration procedure at the beginning of this week.

Criminal Liability of Organisations - How Can US 
sentencing Guidelines Help Us?

Romania

Although Romanian law established criminal liability of organisations in 2006, thus adopting a liability model very similar to that of France, Belgium and Portugal, there is still a lot of confusion when it comes to determining when an organisation is to be held criminally liable. From what we see in our day-to-day activity, the courts are still struggling to determine when offences committed by the management of an organisation can also trigger the criminal liability of the organisation itself.

Kinstellar and Peli Partners Advise on S Immo AG's Acquisition of Bucharest Office Buildings from Skanska

Romania

Kinstellar has advised S Immo AG on the acquisition of Campus Buildings 6.2 & 6.3 — two class A office buildings in Bucharest — from developer Skanska. Peli Partners advised Skanska on the deal.

RTPR and PeliPartners Advise on OLX Group's Acquisition of Kiwi Finance in Romania

Romania

RTPR has advised the OLX Group on its acquisition of Kiwi Finance from Oresa Ventures. PeliPartners advised the seller on the deal.

New Regulations on Remote Working and Personnel Scheduling

Romania

On 6 November 2020, two new regulations impacting employment relationships in the context of the state of alert were published in the Official Gazette:

Advising from Afar: Lawyering in a Time of Social Distancing

Legal Markets

Within days of the coronavirus’s arrival in March, the Polish government was scrambling to react, with lockdowns, subsidies and stimulus, public health requirements, and other measures coming rapidly, on an ad hoc basis, with the need for speed making it difficult for Polish companies (and Poles in general) to keep up, and forming a patchwork of ideas rather than a comprehensive and coherent plan.

Marketing Law Firm Marketing: Most Valuable Software Tool

Legal Markets

New technologies are all the rage, as law firms adapt to the telecommuting and digitalization realities that accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic. Accordingly, we decided to ask our Law Firm Marketing experts from across the region a simple question: “What is the single most important/valuable piece of software you use?” As always, we asked respondents to focus on the question at hand, rather than – as we put it – using the question simply as an excuse to “tell us that their firms are awesome.” Not everyone was able to resist.

Penteris and Linklaters Advise on Sale of Jerozolimskie Business Park

Poland

Penteris has advised a joint venture formed by Rida Development Corp and Mack Real Estate Group on its acquisition of the Jerozolimskie Business Park in Warsaw from A&T Holdings. Linklaters advised the seller on the deal.

A New Direction in the Fight Against Tax Evasion in Romania - Recovery of Damages

Romania

The phenomenon of tax evasion is present all around the globe regardless of whether we look at “civilized” or developing countries, being one of the most widespread and notorious form of financial crimes, responsible for a significant part of the shadow economy.

The Legal Entity’s Right to Not Contribute to Self-incrimination

Romania

Although nowadays there are more and more situations in which legal entities are called to criminal responsibility for a wide range of offences, the criminal liability of a legal entity remains an incomplete and insufficiently regulated institution, which is why the current reality has known numerous practical inconveniences.

Changes to the Judicial Activities of the Romanian Courts of Law as a Result of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Romania

Like any other state in the world, Romania has been confronted in recent months and is still confronting with the atrocity of the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus COVID-19. Since the outburst of the rapidly spreading virus, all resources available were mobilized to effectively contain it and to repair the economic and social damage brought by the pandemic.

Amendments To the Law On Health Insurance Expected Soon

Serbia

Current Law on Health Insurance (Official Gazette of RS no. 25/2019) has been applied since 11 April 2019. The Government of the Republic of Serbia prepared the amendments to this law which are currently in public debate, after which they will enter parliamentary procedure. The draft law stipulates several significant novelties that we will present in this article. If it is adopted, the application of the draft law amending the Law on Health Insurance (“the Law”) will start on 1 June 2021.

Temporary Residence and Work Permit – Two Approvals, One Application

Serbia

The Law on Amendments to the Law on Foreigners (Official Gazette of the RS No. 31/2019) (“Law”) entered into force on May 7, 2019, but the provisions relating to the submission of a joint application for temporary residence and work permit started to apply on December 1, 2020.

Novelties in the Business Registers Agency

Serbia

From January 1, 2021, the Business Registers Agency (“BRA“) starts to provide new services and keep a new register.

PRK Partners and Binder Groesswang Help Five Guys Open in Vienna

Austria

PRK Partners, working with Binder Groesswang, has helped American restaurant chain Five Guys open up a restaurant in Vienna.

CMS and Havel & Partners Advise on AnaCap’s Sale of Equa Bank to Raiffeisen

Czech Republic

CMS has advised AnaCap Financial Partners on its sale of the Equa Bank to Raiffeisen Bank International, acting through its Czech subsidiary. Havel & Partners and Linklaters advised the buyer on the deal.

PRK Partners Advises CD Cargo on EUR 130 Million Loan from EIB

Czech Republic

PRK Partners has advised CD Cargo on a EUR 130 million loan from the European Investment Bank. Nauta Dutilh advised CD Cargo on Luxembourg elements of the transaction.

Sergiy Ignatovsky Joins Redcliffe Partners as Partner

Ukraine

Former Mriya Agroholding Chief Legal Counsel Sergiy Ignatovsky has joined Redcliffe Partners as a Partner within the firm’s Litigation and Restructuring practices.

Ukraine Moves Forward Towards Opening of the Gaming Market

Ukraine

The Ukrainian Government continues to develop and adopt the gaming laws which are necessary to relaunch the Ukrainian gaming market.

Redcliffe Partners Advises Aspect Energy and SigmaBleyzer on Oil and Gas Production Sharing Agreement with Ukraine

Ukraine

Redcliffe Partners has advised US investors Aspect Energy and SigmaBleyzer — acting jointly through a special-purpose vehicle, Ukrainian Energy, L.L.C. — on an oil & gas production sharing agreement with the Republic of Ukraine. DLA Piper reportedly advised the Republic of Ukraine on the transaction.

No-go Zones in the Use of Cookies

Czech Republic

The Office for Personal Data Protection has released an inspection plan for the year 2020, which announces that this year they aim at intensively focusing on cookie use and plan to start 8 inspections at once that are intended to check cookie use. Yet, cookies are also the subject of interest for some other inspection offices that have made numerous statements about the use of cookies. While in the rest of the EU, users’ consent is required before storing cookies (the opt-in principle), according to the current Czech legislation embedded in Act N. 127/2005 Coll., on Electronic Communications, cookies can be used until the user says something (opt-out principle).

Whistleblowing as an Opportunity to Discover the Black Sheep in an Organisation

Czech Republic

Why is a whistleblowing system necessary and how can it help you save your good reputation, organization, investments, and even your freedom?

Starting in Style: Interview with the Partners of the New NGL Symbio Alliance

Interviews

Interview with the Partners of the New NGL Symbio Alliance.

The Buzz in Serbia: Interview with Milos Gledovic of Samardzic, Oreski & Grbovic

Serbia

In this time of economic distress, many countries have suffered. Yet, reports Milos Gledovic, Partner at Samardzic, Oreski & Grbovic, Serbia has proven resilient. “The pandemic has not affected the number of transactions in our market, except in the industries directly affected by anti-COVID measures,” Gledovic says, describing the overall economic situation in Serbia as stable.

The Law on Archive Materials and Archiving Activities Starts to Apply

Serbia

The Law on Archive Materials and Archiving Activities (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No. 6/2020, ) (“Law”) started to apply as of 2 February 2021, so after many years Serbia finally regulates the protection of archival material in one place and a comprehensive manner.

Dramatic Fines for Google and Amazon for Violating Cookie Rules

Serbia

In December 2020, the French Data Protection Authority (Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés or the “CNIL”) imposed significant fines of EUR 60 million for Google LLC and EUR 40 million for Google Ireland Limited, as well as of EUR 35 million for Amazon Europe Core.

Hot Practice: Andras Gyorgy on SBGK's Data Protection Practice

Hungary

SBGK’s busiest practice over the last few months has been Data Protection, according to Partner Andras Gyorgy, driven by both the COVID-19 pandemic and, more importantly, by fines for GDPR breaches raising awareness among companies.

Boglarka Borbely, Adam Gyorgy, Krisztian Osztopani Promoted to Partner at SBGK

Hungary

Hungarian lawyers Boglarka Borbely, Adam Gyorgy, and Krisztian Osztopani have been promoted to Partner at SBGK.

Schoenherr and DGKV Advise on Osram's Sale of Bulgarian Business to Sanmina

Bulgaria

Schoenherr has advised Germany's Osram GmbH on the sale of its Bulgarian business to the Sanmina Corporation. Hogan Lovells and Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov advised Sanmina Corporation on the deal.

Schoenherr Advises Elevator Ventures on Seed Round Investment in Finqware

Romania

Schoenherr has advised Elevator Ventures, the corporate venture capital entity of Raiffeisen Bank International, on leading a seed round investment in Romanian fintech start-up Finqware.

Polish M&A Market – Times Are Changing

Poland

Looking back at 2020, one can draw some conclusions and identify some trends in the Polish transactional market likely to stay with us in 2021.

The Buzz in Romania: Interview with Charles Vernon of Vernon David

Romania

“Covid has really sucked all of the air out of everything,” begins Vernon David Partner Charles Vernon. “From a legislative point of view things are a bit boring right now,given the imminent parliamentary elections that are due on December 6, everything has been pretty much at a standstill, except for Covid of course.” 

RTPR Advises Innova Capital on Acquisition of PayPoint in Romania

Romania

RTPR has advised Innova Capital on its acquisition of PayPoint Services and Payzone from the PayPoint Group.

Compliance in Romania

Romania

Regardless whether you are a new start-up hoping to become the next “unicorn” or a renowned international corporation, Romania’s ever-changing business and legal environment will impose various issues and hurdles upon your organization’s compliance and ethics culture. From BP’s USD 20.8 billion fine for the Deepwater Horizon accident, to Volkswagen’s USD 14.7 billion fine for false diesel emissions, to Airbus’ USD 4 billion fine for bribery and corruption, keeping a company on the right side of the law and reducing employee malfeasance is always a challenge. 

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